A crowd of approximately 300 enjoyed a warm afternoon, great music and good cooking at the Harlan County Ridge Runner’s annual Ramp Festival held on Saturday in Evarts.
With a menu of soup beans, corn bread, salmon patties, cooked cabbage, fried potatoes and of course, the star of the festival — ramps, hundreds lined up to enjoy the meal. Sitting at picnic tables everyone was treated to some foot stomping music from Big Daddy and the Heat.
Dale Lee, of Greenville, said he drove five hours just to attend the Ramp Festival. A Harlan County Ridge Runner he said he loves coming to ride the mountains of eastern Kentucky.
“I enjoy seeing the people who come out for the festival each year,” said Lee. “The Ridge Runners are good about supporting the local community and host this event every year to raise funds for charitable organizations. As far as the ramps — well, I’ve never eaten one yet, but the other items on the menu are delicious especially the salmon patties.”
Harlan County Ridge Runner President Bill Troutman said all the proceeds from the event will be donated to Christ’s Hands in Harlan.
“It was a great day for the festival,” said Troutman. “We had about 60 riders who went out on a safe ATV ride we hosted earlier in the day. We cooked 20 gallons of ramps this year and every drop of them were eaten. The music was great. I think overall everyone enjoyed themselves during the Ramp Festival.”
Beverly Jones, Assistant Vice President of Home Federal Bank in Harlan, said she has attended the Ramp Festival every year and always has a good time.
“I’m here today with my friend, Thelma Troutman, whom I go to church with,” said Jones. “I love this festival. It’s so good for the county and the community. The food is wonderful.”
Rob McGill, of Oxford, Ohio, said he looks forward to attending the Ramp Festival every year and travels hundreds of miles to do just that.
“I’m a member of the Harlan County Ridge Runners and I love coming to Harlan County to ride these mountains,” said McGill. “The things I love best about the Ramp Festival are the people, the cooking and the music — it’s always good. I haven’t eaten the ramps yet — it’s the smell, but we always have a great time.”
Mayor Eddie Manning said the Ramp Festival brought “folks from around the county” to Evarts to enjoy the day.
“We have a lot of folks from out of state who also attend the event every year,” said Manning. “We had a lot of local folks who also came out to enjoy the food, music and fellowship with their neighbors. Everybody always has a great time during the Ramp Festival. The Harlan County Ridge Runners are to be commended for their efforts in supporting the county as a whole.”
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510, ext.115, email@example.com